These Are the Days to Hold Onto, Cause We Won't Although We'll Want to


These Are the Days to Hold Onto, Cause We Won't Although We'll Want to

I took a walk last night where my mom and I used to go. We used to walk the neighborhood every day, sometimes twice a day if she had more energy to burn off than I knew what to do with.

She reminded me then of an aging movie star in addiction rehab; she never went out without being dressed in white, huge sunglasses, a large sunhat decorated in a jaunty scarf. The only thing missing was the cigarette in the cigarette holder. Early in the summer she would talk the entire time, happily babbling about everything and nothing that made sense. She stopped talking so much by the end of our summer.

Now every time I do dishes, I think of her. The battle we had over washing and drying the dishes was one I could never solve. So the solution came by her not being here at all.

I went to the pet store where she and I used to volunteer. She used to sweep the cat litter, an endless pursuit and perfect for her dementia. Everyone asked for her as soon as I walked in the door. She certainly lives on there.

It does feel weird to be here without her, when in the previous years we closed up the house in Florida and spent the summer with my husband in Ohio. Now I'm here in Ohio for a much briefer trip, and my mom's in a temporary facility in Florida because she can no longer make the trip. Any trip.

It's a little like being in Limbo (Purgatory, Sheol, where the un-baptized babies go), knowing my mom can die at any minute while I'm up here and not by her side, like I've been for over two years.

My husband and I have been planning this time together since March. I've emotionally said good-bye to my mom a bunch of times. With her advanced state of dementia, there is no telling what she thinks any more about me or her life in general. She has round-the-clock care, but it just doesn't include mine.

I am choosing to spent time with the living, while I can.


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Jan, I feel for you; you are in such a difficult place right now. I hope that you and your husband can enjoy your time together and create some special memories to carry in your hearts.


<a href='' rel=\"nofollow\">@janshriver</a>, I'm soooo glad you have the time with your hubby right now and have a respite from the physical caregiving. It must be so hard with your mind constantly drifting to your mom... and her/your future―the emotional caregiving is always there. I know that Limbo and saying so many goodbyes. The many times, I thought a visit would be the last time I saw Mom, stretched over four years. Hugs to you and my thoughts frequently drift to you on your journey.


We are left with a life time of memories which we had hoped we could talk about one day when our loved ones were in their golden years and had the time to listen, the time to talk, to share things and then dementia steps in and we come to realize that all of that has come to a dead end. \nNow our loved family members start to do things, to say things which as children we were never allowed to do. Only we were young and still learning about life so we followed what our wise parents told us. That same wise parent now does the most unimaginable awful things, health wise, manner wise, behavior wise, they can say the most hurtful things and we can only stand and watch and just be accepting while on the inside though we *know* that this is no longer them - how can you tell your heart and your soul to not take seriously what you are now made to experience day by day.\nAs the sole caretaker of Mom, not being able to afford hiring a carer for her or putting her into a home - the last 7 years have often felt like I have been living out a life sentence for something I did not do or deserve. Day by day I see her decline, I feel the pain my own mind and body is in from the enormity of this task which I also did not ask for and like a motherless child, I cry in my pillow because I also realize that Mom can still continue to decline further and further and the only person there is to care for her is me. I can only pray that God will continue to help me, day by day, week by week to continue to do what is done out of a sense of love and compassion for a sickness which Mom also did not ask for. \nI totally 'get' your posts, Jan. \n\nxoxo

Lillie Fuller

What a tough choice that must be. When my dad's dementia was advanced I would spend an hour or two or three a day with him, depending on him, and then come home to my mom. I so feel your pain. Please try to enjoy your time with your husband, I'm sure your mom is being well taken care of and you will be so happy to see her when you return.